The Seattle Parks Department has announced “Eggstravaganzas,” various Egg Hunts to be held in parks across Seattle this weekend. The nearest one to Victory Heights will be at the Meadowbook Playfield, 10533 35th Avenue NE, on Saturday, March 30th at 10 AM. Sponsored by the Meadowbrook and Ravenna-Eckstein Community Centers, the event for ages 1-11 will, “Celebrate the coming of spring with an egg hunt beginning at 10 am sharp! The hunt will feature healthy snacks. Bring your own bag or basket. We will hold the hunt rain or shine. Please bring a non-perishable food item to go to North Helpline.”
First up, Roger Iwata from Sound Transit told residents about the expansion of the Link Light Rail from Northgate up to Lynnwood that is expected to be finished around 2023 (two years after the Northgate station opens in 2021). The preferred corridor is along the I-5 right-of-way with various stops (to be determined) in North Seattle, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and then the Lynnwood Transit Center. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be issued in June and formal comments can be submitted.
Secondly, Sandy Motzer, Director of the Lake City Emergency Communication Hub, explained about the city’s SNAP program and how, as part of disaster preparedness, volunteer sites are being set up all around the city to relay emergency information via ham radio to and from city officials in case regular communications fail. Sandy is organizing one for northeast Seattle that will be based in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer in Lake City (the next closest ones to Victory Heights are the top of Maple Leaf or Hunter’s Tree Farm in Wedgwood). Plans are underway to organize here in Victory Heights so we will be aware of what resources are on hand should we need them (who has generators, who are doctors or nurses, ham radio operators, etc). Want to volunteer to help the HUB? Sandy would love to hear from you, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a city-wide simulated emergency drill that will be conducted on May 11th.
In other news, Victory Heights might be getting a new traffic circle if the vote goes our way at next month’s North District Council meeting. Eileen Canola has been campaigning for one to be installed on 23rd Ave NE and NE 105th Street for several years and after much organizational work (and paperwork), the end is nearly in sight as the NDC prepares to distribute this year’s Street Funds from the city.
Plans are underfoot for the community council to host a party for the entire neighborhood in the park sometime this summer. Stay tuned as details are sorted out.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 16th at 7 PM in the pre-school in Victory Heights Park.
At a town hall meeting on Saturday at North Seattle Community College, state legislators from the 46th District addressed a number of issues but focused on closing tax loopholes and spending more on higher education. State Representative Gerry Pollet, freshman Representative Jessyn Farrell and State Senator David Frockt spoke and answered questions for over two hours to a nearly packed auditorium at the school.
Many attendees were involved with education and heartily supported measures to increase school spending; at least half had lobbied in Olympia on behalf of an issue in the past or contacted a representative. Victory Heights is part of the 46th District which also includes Wedgwood, Lake City, and parts of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park.
With no introductions, Senator Frockt jumped right in with an overview of the current legislative session, now about half way finished, which has focused so far on non-fiscally related policy bills. He pointed out how the Washington State Senate is now in the hands of the Republican party which has vowed not to increase taxes, something which Democratic governor Jay Inslee also campaigned on. There was a lot of talk of funding “McCleary,” which meant something to most of the attendees but sent me to Google to decode this inside-baseball jargon. (It’s the January 2012 State Supreme Court ruling that said the state had failed in its duty to fully-fund education.)
Representative Farrell, a freshman to Olympia (who was later joined by her two young children), spoke of the difficulty in stopping Republicans from cutting anti-poverty and early learning programs during the session, saying, “We’re going to have a hard time holding this line.” She would also like to see King County gain the ability to tax itself (voter approved) in order to better directly support METRO Transit, which is facing a 17% budget cut this year due to lower sales tax revenue.
Representative Pollet was very keen in the current no new taxes environment, of closing the many loopholes in the tax code which do not benefit the state but deprive it of millions in revenue. Specifically the capital gains tax, saying the large multi-national corporations headquartered in Washington could help support higher education and the trained workforce they are begging for if such a tax were in place but they’d prefer someone else get the bill.
When it comes to higher education, all three agreed more needed to be spent, saying that state funding now only accounts for 30% of the revenue for universities (the rest is tuition); they’d like to see the state kicking in half in order to keep tuition costs from rising further.
Among other issues that were addressed were re-funding dental coverage for the poor to keep them from using emergency rooms for care, and the impact of traffic on Highway 522 through Kenmore and Lake Forest Park with the toll on 520 and one impending on I-90.
Victory Heights Community Council member Justin Almeida addressed the issue of pollution in Thornton Creek, which prompted Rep. Pollet to say he had just begun discussion with the Department of Ecology on Thursday about how to clean up the creek.
You are invited to attend the monthly Victory Heights Community Council meeting on Tuesday, March 19th at 7 PM at the Pre-school in Victory Heights Park.
The agenda will include two speakers, Roger Iwata with Sound Transit (Lynnwood Link light rail project, which will go from Northgate to Lynnwood) and Sandy Motzer (President of the HUB steering committee).
We’ll also get a recap of the town hall meeting with local state legislatures.
Everyone in the neighborhood is encouraged to attend, this is YOUR community council. (Bring a folding chair, the ones at the school are all child-sized).
Get added to the VHCC mailing list and receive notices directly in your inbox. Write to Vice President Sharon Haggerty to be put on the list.
State Senator David Frockt, Representative Gerry Pollet and Representative Jessyn Farrell of the 46th District will be holding a town hall discussion on the current Washington State legislative session on Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM to Noon at North Seattle Community College.
With the 2013 legislative session halfway over, your legislators want to update you on what has happened to date and hear from you about the issues they are working on. Topics will include the budget, early learning, K-12 and higher education, environmental protection, the safety net, transportation and others. Please bring your questions and your feedback on these and other issues!
North Seattle Community College Concert Hall
9600 College Way North, Seattle